tv [untitled] June 25, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PDT
>> hi, everybody. my name is carmen chu. why don't we get started. with a marking up with the department of small business -- we have been working with the department of small business. this project started when we heard from neighborhood merchants. unfortunately, they had access issues, visibility access issues. we have been working closely with many of our partners year
today to educate about these -- many of our partners year today to educate about these issues. also in terms of board guidance. i want to thank all of you for coming. many of you may have assistance. i know many merchants could not be here. please do it share this information with other merchants in the area. we have virginia from the office of small business. we have roger from the bar association. no carla johnson from the office of disability. -- we have carla johnson from the office of disability. i want to especially it acknowledge my colleague to help us get the resources and brought legal expertise to the table.
i do not want to take too much of your time. thank you for coming. >> thank you, supervisor chu. i want to express my admiration for a supervisor chu's commitment to you. so, from our office, what we heard, many small businesses were receiving lawsuits regarding it the ada. tonight we will hear about the legal requirements, what has been in place. any small businesses that nderst informed as far as their obligations for the ada, there are the mechanisms to provide that information to you. so, we are tasked with
providing the information. there have been about 300 small businesses that have received the lawsuits. knee individuals who use this mechanism and come up -- the individual to use this mechanism. while it is important to have ada access, but we want you to understand there are individuals out there taking a look at your vulnerability. we have a packet of information for you tonight. we have it in english and chinese. we have a quick summary of the laws. the ada, calif. building code, the civil rights, and our experts here will elaborate.
we also have a list of certified caps at work in san francisco for you. carla johnson with the mayor's office of disability has created a really good it died of out to interview your experts to make sure you are getting the best quality product for you. been next -- the money you pay for the inspection you can take as a tax deduction. any money that if you have taken can be applied as a tax deduction. this can be done on an annual basis. next, the opportunity, and a fund -- opportunity loan fund,
providing for small businesses to pay for the inspection or to make improvements needed. to do it before you receive the lawsuit. and lastly, we of the bar association and their resources. they're providing their legal service for you. this last thing i am going to share with you in terms of what we have seen in our office is that with the individuals, that does not necessarily mean an individual will follow up with a lawsuit. what we've seen in our office is the individual's will send you a letter and say there were
compile -- compliance issues. where people get in trouble is they ignore the letter. we need to make sure it that your pro-active and responsive. when a business receives a letter, they need to contact our office. the merchants of been very proactive -- have been very pro- active. the businesses that have received a letter and passed an inspection after receiving the letter have staved off a lawsuit. the cap inspection is a very good risk management tool.
often it is not as durable as you may think it to be. our office is there for you as our resources. we are able to provide our services, follow-up questions in english, spanish, cantonese, and mandarin. and then -- and then, roger, you will -- >> yes. i am an attorney in private practice. the laws in this area are strict compliance laws, and they are very specific.